Luke 2:12 (ESV)
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:16 (ESV)
16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
Baby, I admit I’ve read this word in these verses thousands of times, and until today, I don’t think I’ve ever looked up the word until today. It is Brephos in Greek, and it means two primary things, either an unborn child, or a newborn child. That on the surface seems elementary, until you consider this.
In one moment, in one instance, hope went from an unborn dream into a tender reality. It was not only man’s dream, but God’s dream. Man desired salvation, but had no way of bringing it to pass. Before Mary pushed in labor, God pushed ahead to save us.
Man’s sin in the garden left us fallen, hopeless, and filled with the sins of our own selves and our fathers. Yet, God was neither content to leave us, or to leave us in that condition. He dreamed of a day when He could once again walk beside us in the cool of the day. For Him to do that, would require a promise, a people, a prophecy, and a person.
The promise was made first to Eve, the one who the serpent lied to. The enemy had taken her hope, her innocence, and her future through treachery. God would restore her hope through a promise.
The promise would continue to Abel, Seth, Noah, and then to Abraham. From there, the promise would grow, and become a people. The people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so He could be The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
From a people, the promise would take shape, revealing what it had always been, not merely a promise, but a prophecy. A prophecy of hope, of victory, and of a person. This was not a general concept, or ideal as some would surmise, this was a person.
Christ would come, not the idea of a savior, not merely the concept of a better day, but The Way itself, in the form of a baby. Isaiah spoke of His future, For Unto Us A Child Is Born, Unto Us A Son Is Given. Micah said quietly, He shall be born in Bethlehem.
For nine months, after God’s Spirit wrapped itself in a cloak of flesh in the womb of Mary, He waited. God, Who had waited so long, patiently endured the growth process. At the right moment, Hope cried out in the night. A Person named Jesus had come to fulfill a prophecy, to create a redeemed people for Himself, and to fulfill a promise made to a woman named Eve, and His friend Abraham.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was now the Son of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. The One Who Isaiah saw as high and lifted up, walked into our world meek and lowly of heart, so He could be lifted up on a cross, and draw all men higher than we ever dreamed we could go.
Brephos, when I saw the Greek word, it reminded me of the word Breath. The Bible says that Jesus breathed on His Disciples saying Receive ye The Holy Ghost. As He had breathed on Adam and Eve, Jesus breathed on us, to give us new life.
People may wonder why we get so excited about the birth of a baby. It’s because like the word baby itself, it means so much more than an infant. It means so much more than a new life, it means life eternal for all those who find Him!